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Fruit salsa makes elegant complement to prawns
In the next few weeks, I will be focusing more of my recipes toward the upcoming holiday season. I developed this fruit salsa with prawns recipe with the holidays in mind. It is suitable for a multi-course menu, which is what I like to serve for New Year's Eve.
This dish can be used as an appetizer or for cleansing the palate between courses. The combination of papaya, pineapple and cherry tomatoes work well together when marinated in the Meyer lemon and fresh orange juices.
The most important step when preparing the salsa is to dice the papaya and pineapple into pieces of about the same size for visual appeal.
I prefer to serve this dish at room temperature immediately after preparation and do not recommend refrigerating it.
PAPAYA-PINEAPPLE SALSA WITH LEMON-ORANGE PRAWNS
Serves six to eight
1 medium, ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces (if too green, let it sit at room temperature for a few days to ripen)
1 medium, fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces; see cook's notes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered (reserve the juice)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
6 ounces unsalted butter
1 small red onion, peeled and diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces
1-1⁄2 pounds prawns (21-25 size), shelled and deveined
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1⁄3 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
Sea salt and curry powder, to taste
Cook's notes: To prepare the fresh pineapple, cut off the stem and stand the fruit on the stem end for 15 minutes. This will make the pineapple sweeter. Then carefully peel the pineapple, remove the core and dice the fruit.
Combine all the salsa ingredients in a glass or nonreactive bowl and set aside for 15 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavors to blend.
Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the prawns and cook for five minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to cook all sides evenly.
Add the orange and lemon juices and cook for 10 minutes, until all the prawns are lightly pink. (Do not overcook, as the texture will get rubbery.) Remove the prawns from the sauce with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Add the warm sauce from the prawns to the salsa mixture and stir gently until well combined.
Select six to eight large, tall martini glasses. Fill each glass halfway with the salsa mixture. Top off each glass with any leftover salsa liquid, then place four to six prawns on top of the salsa, arranging the tails to lie on the rim of the glass (as shown in the photo) and serve room temperature.